Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Brilliant from the Bantams; Bradford Stun Top-Flight Villa to Edge Closer to Final

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Brilliant from the Bantams; Bradford Stun Top-Flight Villa to Edge Closer to Final

Article excerpt

Bradford City 3 Aston Villa 1 BRADFORD produced more Capital One Cup heroics at Valley Parade last night to see off another Barclays Premier League side in their semi-final first-leg clash with Aston Villa.

Bermudian striker Nahki Wells coolly despatched a shot from inside the penalty area following a rebound in the 19th minute and defender Rory McArdle headed home Gary Jones' cross in the 77th minute to give the npower League Two side an unlikely two-goal lead.

Bradford almost put the tie beyond their top-flight opponents moments later when striker James Hanson headed against the crossbar, but Villa, who spurned a hatful of chances in either half, grabbed a crucial late lifeline through Andreas Weimann before Carl McHugh restored the home side's two-goal advantage with another header two minutes from full-time.

City, who had already sent Premier League clubs Wigan and, unforgettably, Arsenal packing in the previous rounds, were a match throughout for Villa, who were thwarted by the heroics of home goalkeeper Matt Duke.

Bradford skipper Gary Jones pulled a shot wide in the opening exchanges and Villa midfielder Charles N'Zogbia lashed in a left-footed drive that home goalkeeper Matt Duke had to watch carefully while blocking.

City's leading goalscorer Wells then spurned a golden chance when crossing into Shay Given's hands after neat footwork in the penalty area, but Villa were lightning quick on the break and after two shots had been deflected for corners, Benteke twice headed inches over the crossbar. It was fast and furious. Villa's Bradfordborn midfielder Fabian Delph, booed with every early touch, clipped a fine ball into the area for Benteke, whose first-time shot was saved by the sprawling Duke.

But Bradford striker Wells then sent most of Valley Parade into raptures.

Jones' corner was headed out to Hines on the edge of the area and when his shot was deflected by Villa skipper Ciaran Clark, the unmarked Wells kept his composure after the ball had ricocheted into his path 12 yards from goal to steer a low, right-footed shot into the bottom corner in the 19th minute. …

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